The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global aluminum plates and sheet coils market for 2016-2020. The report also lists food and beverage, building and construction, automotive and transportation, aerospace and defense, industrial and general engineering, and others as the six major end-user segments in the market.
According to Chandrakumar Badala Jaganathan, a lead analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research, “The food and beverages segment is the largest consumer in the market. The segment accounted for a share of close to 37% in the global market in 2015. Sheet coils are significantly used in packaging of food and beverages as they extend the shelf life of these products.”
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Technavio chemicals and materials analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global aluminum plates and sheet coils market:
- Replacement of steel by aluminum
- Rising concerns regarding environment
- Increased demand for aluminum cans
Replacement of steel by aluminum
Many automotive components that were usually manufactured using ferrous materials (iron or steel) are being replaced by non-ferrous materials such as aluminum and magnesium. This is due to properties such as the light weight, resistance to corrosion, and high conductivity of aluminum.
The shift from steel components to aluminum components is mainly evident in light vehicles. The percentage of flat-rolled steel in light vehicles is expected to decline by 2024. On the contrary, the values for aluminum are above 100%, depicting a robust growth in the flat aluminum products (intern sheet coils and plates) globally.
Rising concerns regarding environment
Aluminum is one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient, recyclable construction materials. The metal is preferred for constructing sustainable buildings. The construction projects that employ aluminum qualify for green building status under the LEED standards.
Aluminum plates and sheet coils are easily recyclable and do not lose their properties during the recycling process. This helps in preserving natural resources and energy as the production of aluminum from bauxite requires more energy while recycling reduces the energy consumption by 90%. Approximately 90% of the aluminum is recycled at the end of a vehicle's life, and 60%-80% of the aluminum used in construction activities is estimated to be recycled.
The use of recycled aluminum composite panels is expected to rise further during the forecast period. This is owing to the increased preference for sustainable buildings, preserving natural resources, and reducing energy consumption. “In addition, greenhouse gas emissions from aluminum recycling reduced by two-fold from 1990-2015. This is further expected to reduce by 50% by 2020, thus presenting a positive outlook for the global aluminum sheet and plate market,” says Chandrakumar.
Increased demand for aluminum cans
Aluminum cans are considered the most sustainable beverage containers and their demand is increasing globally. These are considered as the most recyclable beverage containers. On average, a can contains approximately 70% recycled aluminum. Plastic and glass containers contain one-third of the recycled content when compared with aluminum cans.
Aluminum cans also offer numerous other advantages such as they are stronger and lighter in weight as compared to the other packaging materials such as glass, making them portable and convenient to carry and transport. Aluminum cans also chill faster than plastic and glass containers. Aluminum cans are also light and air resistant which helps increase the shelf life of product and retains its taste. Approximately 1,800 types of beer are packaged in aluminum cans by around 500 craft beer brewers. Therefore, aluminum cans provide opportunities for the development of new markets.
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